Are Background Checks Confidential?  

There are many reasons why you might want to use a screening service to get more information about someone. Maybe you have met someone new and want to delve into their past, or maybe you suspect that your new next-door neighbor has a not-so-clean past. In fact, the specific context of your situation and the type of background checks you want to run will determine whether they can remain confidential.

In the scenarios described above, the background check would not be official. To find the information you need, you might use a tool such as a background check on, which makes it possible to access public information about people. In addition, you might search social media or Google for more information about a specific person.

However, these search tools are not associated with a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). This means you can’t use these or other similar services to vet a potential tenant, employee, or loan applicant. When running a background check as part of a hiring, tenancy, or loan decision, you must ask the subject for their consent first. You cannot keep the background check secret.

Disclosure of Background Check Results: When is It Necessary?

Originally posted at The Startup Magazine